Egyptian police foil coin-smuggling bid at Cairo airport

Nevine El-Aref , Wednesday 24 Apr 2013

Authorities at Cairo International Airport thwart attempt to smuggle 145 ancient Egyptian coins – dating from Graeco-Roman, Ottoman eras – out of country

Graeco-Roman coins (archive)

Egypt's Archaeological Unit for Confiscated Antiquities (AUCA), in collaboration with the tourism and antiquities police, aborted an attempt at Cairo International Airport on Wednesday to smuggle a collection of Graeco-Roman and Ottoman-era coins out of Egypt.

The smuggler, an Egyptian citizen, hid the coins within his luggage in an attempt to smuggle them first to Dubai and then on to Europe, where they might be sold to collectors.

Hassan Rasmi, head of the AUCA's central administration, told Ahram Online that the coins were in "very good condition."

The collection includes 30 coins from the Graeco-Roman period (with some dating from the reign of Alexander the Great); 30 from the Ottoman period; 54 from the reign of Egypt's King Farouk; 11 from the reign of Sultan Hassan; and 20 from the reign of King Fouad I, according to Rasmi.

The coins will remain in the possession of the authorities until investigations  are completed and the perpetrator convicted.

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